World / Lessons from history

Japan's PM sends ritual offering to notorious Yasukuni Shrine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-15 09:33

Japan's PM sends ritual offering to notorious Yasukuni Shrine

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a statement in Tokyo on Friday marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. He acknowledged Japan had inflicted "immeasurable damage and suffering" on innocent people but said generations not involved in the conflict should not be burdened with continued apologies. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo where two female cabinet members visited on the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

The nationalist premier sent his aide, Koichi Hagiuda, to make the offering as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) , one day after he delivered a statement which is perceived both at home and abroad as "lacking sincerity."

Following Abe's offering, two female ministers - Haruko Arimura, who is in charge of women's empowerment, and Sanae Takaichi, internal affairs minister - paid homage at the war- linked shrine which honors 14 Class-A convicted criminals of WWII.

Around 100 conservative lawmakers, including LDP's policy chief, Tomomi Inada, former chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, Keiji Furuya and Shinjiro Koizumi, son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, also visited the shrine.

In the closely watched statement released on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in WWII, Abe, reiterated previous governments' apologies over Japan's past wartime actions, but refrained from offering a fresh apology himself.

He also claimed that Japan's future generations must not "be predestined to apologize" for the country's role in the conflict.


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